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Hiraethog 50:50 - August 21st /22nd 2010

ProVelo, Cymdeithas Hiraethog, Forestry Commission Wales and Welsh Water are proud to announce the launch of a new and unique endurance MTB event that will be hosted this summer by one the UK's most succesful endurance events organisers at the most exciting venues for wild endurance mountain biking in UK. The opportunity of experiencing stunning views in an outstanding location so different to the regular events you would think you are in a different country, you are, this is Wales, but no passports will be required and no worry if the plane will turn up to take you home. The Hiraethog 50:50 is an endurance event which will be aimed to deliver a wider appeal than any existing 100 mile events on the current calendar. This endurance event is not going to see if it can break the spirit or see how few can survive to the last mile, but to allow every participant, whatever their ability, to meet their own personal goals and challenges. The event is structured to span two days with 50 miles riding each day over a route that will be reversed from day 1 to day 2 to give the riders a changed perspective of the challenge within the weekend.

Hiraethog is the traditional name for a Welsh region stretching across an upland moorland between the valleys of the Clwyd and Conwy. It includes two man made lakes Llyn Brenig and Llyn Alwen and also the Clocaenog Forest covering 40 square miles, originally planted in 1905 and one of the last strongholds of Red Squirrels in the UK and a project to protect rare Przewalksi horses. Recent extensive felling operations has substantially reduced the high big pines and returned the amazing views that the area provides to the mountain ranges of North Wales that ring the plateau. Although mostly upland moorland it's average height is over 1000ft with the highest peaks reaching 1700ft which is cut at the edges by deep incised valleys that contribute to the 6,000ft of climbing per day. Much of the area boasts exceptional views across North and Mid Wales, near views to Snowdonia, the Clwydian Hills, the Berwyn Mountains and distant views to Cader Idris.

The Hiraethog has been settled for nearly 6000 years and sustained an important upland culture until very recent times with much evidence of the remains of a historic agrarian society that has existed since prehistoric times. More recently the area has been host to many sporting events including the RAC Rally and Motorcycle enduros. For the last 20 years it has been host to MTB cross country and orienteering events. These have been mainly driven by the North Wales Mountain Bike Association who also held a popular 50 mile challenge ride, the Cyffyliog Challenge for many years. Recently a project to develop cycling and tourism led to the Local Authorities forming a partnership with the landowners, Forestry Commission Wales, Welsh Water, local community groups and NWMBA.

Plans are being formed that will to increase and improve the facilities and trails on offer to mountain bikers and help local groups develop outdoor sporting events that help highlight the many benefits the locality offers to sporting enthusiasts. The region is also to be promoted to MTB riders from across the UK looking for extended weekend breaks. With this vast upland resource of Hiraethog situated les than 10 miles in any direction of existing wel lestablished MTB destinations at Llandegla & Betws y Coed this event will be a great introduction to riders hoping to check out the riding in the region as well as encouraging past visitors to return..

Clocaenog at Google Maps

Information on the Hiraethog can be found at www.hiraethog.org.uk and event information at www.h5050.co.uk